August 5, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacific Council is leveraging its member network to coordinate rapid relief projects in support of domestic and international community needs. One of our proven strengths is connecting members across borders and fields. We are responding to the current pandemic crisis by identifying needs in our community, including medical providers, the LA Consular Corps, and others, and linking them to related industries that can meet their demand. 


We have an eye toward specific Los Angeles communities that are central to our mission, such as the immigrant and refugee communities throughout our city. We also recognize that personal protective equipment (PPE) remains in short supply for medical providers in Los Angeles and elsewhere and are working to connect manufacturers and supply chain managers to medical providers within our member network and partner community.

By connecting people to projects and projects to resources, the Pacific Council is increasing civic participation and creating stronger local response on global issues.

What We Have Achieved - With Your Help!

The Pacific Council has teamed up with Sister Cities Los Angeles and several PPE suppliers to donate PPE to Mexico City, a sister city of Los Angeles. Mexico has become one of the hardest hit countries in the global pandemic and as a signal of our solidarity, we are working with a coalition of agencies including Sister Cities Los Angeles, the Mayor’s Office of International Relations, and PPE vendors in Los Angeles. If you are associated with a PPE supplier who may be interested in being a part of this effort, please contact Ashley McKenzie at amckenzie@pacificcouncil.org

Furthermore, when we reached out to you, our Pacific Council members, at the beginning of the pandemic, you answered the call. Since March we have connected these local and global medical facilities in need of PPE to suppliers:

  • Cedars Sinai
  • USC Verdugo Hills
  • Medical clinic serving low income Iranian-Americans
  • Centinela Hospital in Inglewood
  • Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
  • Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank
  • Sharp Healthcare in San Diego
  • All India Institute for Medical Services (AIIMS): New Delhi

Additionally, we’ve been able to gift United Way of Greater Los Angeles 1,000 masks and connect them to a supplier in the hopes that they are able to rapidly disseminate mass quantities of hand sanitizer to homeless communities across the U.S.

We have also been working to support the Los Angeles Consular Corps to ensure their constituencies have the support they need. Consulates that represent countries such as the UAE, the UK, and South Korea have expressed to share lessons learned from the pandemic and to work as a team in cultivating our diplomatic relations in the post-pandemic era.

The partnerships we’ve developed with PPE suppliers, medical facilities, Consulates, and other agencies have gone a long way in helping us respond meaningfully, and we will continue to support our partners and community where we can.

A Pandemic Starts and Ends Locally and Globally

Since its earliest traces, the novel coronavirus has been both a local and global issue, with the clearest local-to-global links witnessed in this lifetime. The major global problems posed by COVID-19 are economic and systemic, drastically slowing trade and tourism among nations as workers stay home and borders close. Global systems that have become more complex over the last century must cooperate and communicate with each other with urgency and clarity. Due to the complexity of such systems, and the lack of pandemic preparedness worldwide, our nations are experiencing a massive disruption, which is trickling down to hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe in the form of job loss, school closure, and more. In short, the pandemic starts globally and locally at the same time and will end the same way.

Los Angeles and California have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, issuing “safer at home” orders earlier than most U.S. states. As the most prominent and established international affairs organization along the West Coast, the Pacific Council on International Policy started sharing expertise on the virus while it was still centralized in Wuhan, China, giving members early insight to this evolving and powerful force.

Given the Council’s focus and understanding of local-to-global issues, a pandemic of this size and magnitude is intellectually where we operate and can share expertise and foster outcome-driven discourse. Our member community is poised and ready to take action to address the world’s most pressing issues, even while abiding by local “stay at home” ordinances.

Take Action

June 8

The online learning company Coursera is offering a free course through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health about COVID-19 Contact Tracing. In this introductory course, students will learn about the science of SARS-CoV-2 , including the infectious period, the clinical presentation of COVID-19, and the evidence for how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person and why contact tracing can be such an effective public health intervention.

Those who complete the course are eligible for a certificate that may be used to apply for contact tracing positions. Note that contact tracing initiatives are different in each city, county, state, and country. Please consult local public health departments for details about how to become a contact tracer.

Learn more about the course and register here >>

The Pacific Council is not affiliated with this course, Coursera, or the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health.

April 20

The Pacific Council has identified the N95 Project as an organization working to secure PPE. The N95 Project helps healthcare providers source critical equipment, fast; it is the national clearinghouse for personal protective equipment. Their volunteers coordinate with suppliers around the world to help healthcare workers know where to find PPE and how to get it.

The N95 Project is in need of volunteers to help with supplier outreach, vetting, copywriting, project management, and much more. For more information and to get involved, visit projectn95.org/roles.

We will update this "call to action" section as opportunities become available among our member and partner network.


If you’d like to help the Pacific Council's efforts to respond to current needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Ashley McKenzie at amckenzie@pacificcouncil.org.

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